THREE fixed penalty notices were issued this week as part of the Portadown Times and Craigavon Borough Council campaign to stamp out dog fouling.
Two offenders were detected at the Bann Boulevard while one was caught at the City Park in Brownlow.
Another man appeared at court on Wednesday where he was fined in relation to an offence which took place last May.
Trevor Clydesdale, the council’s neighbourhood environmental manager, said there was a noticeable increase in the number of people picking up after their dogs, which he attributed to increased awareness as the result of the campaign.
The campaign, which was kick-started by the Times last week, and is being supported by the council, has attracted a wave of comments of support on the paper’s Facebook pages, as well as texts and letters.
The council has revealed that on one day in the Gilford Road area, there were 14 dog walkers, eight of whom picked up after their dogs, with the other six having no incidents of fouling.
A council spokesperson said, “This is very encouraging and is a great example of good partnership working between the paper and Craigavon Borough Council on a public health campaign.”
Mr Clydesdale said there had been three phonecalls reporting offenders and giving their names. He said, “All the people who contacted us were sent out witness statement forms. These ask for the name and address of the dog walker, the type of dog they have and, if you don’t have a name, a description of the person and any other information.”
It was also revealed that the council had received a complaint from the Royal Mail in relation to Garvaghy Road, with postmen complaining that the wheels of their trollies were getting covered in dog excrement.
Mr Clydesdale said requests had been made to clean the road and this and other complaints were being attended to by the council’s cleansing department.
There was also another report of a man letting his dog foul in the grounds of Millington Primary School. Said Mr Clydesdale, “At this point, we don’t have a witness report of when the dog fouled but we have the owner’s address and we will be keeping a close eye on him.”
Mr Clydesdale said a lot of complaints had been coming in from the Lurgan and Aghagallon areas this week, which may in part be due to the campaign going on in Portadown.
He added that although the fouling ‘blitz’ was moving to Lurgan next week, one warden would still be operating in Portadown and a file would be kept on all complaints coming in. “There will be no let-up in bringing offenders to book,” he said.
Meanwhile, at residents’ request an extra dog bin has been placed at Breagh Lodge.
There will also be a promotional campaign in the summer to further educate people on the perils of dog fouling, using money from the European Union’s Neighbourhood Renewal fund. “Council is determined to continue with zero tolerance as it helps everyone in the borough – both visitors and residents alike,” the spokesperson added.
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